Thursday, November 7, 2013

For the Love of Pomegranates . . .

Gal-friends, you have probably figured out I’m a bit eclectic and compulsive, which is why I jump from one type of handwork to another. I go from rug hooking one day to working on wool applique the next and stitching happily away on a quilt two days later. Are you like that too? Or is your personality a bit more organized, letting you concentrate all your time and love on one pursuit?

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that lately I've been rug hooking and will be releasing three new designs this weekend, along with a great giveaway for all my Birthday Club members. The thing I find different about rug hooking from all other handwork is that the images we hook usually reflect strong memories and our favorite things. Rug hookers rarely choose a design based solely on how cute it is.  Instead, our rugs invoke some special feeling or memory and they often tell a story, like a small snapshot from our lives.  All three designs I’m releasing this weekend tell a story about my childhood love of pomegranates.

[Unnamed] Pomegranate Bench Runner
As I worked along, I remembered how, just after the first frosts arrived, my mother would bring home deep red pomegranates and share them with me. We both loved pulling the fruit apart to reveal hundreds of glistening red jewels that were both sweet and tart, and our fingers and lips became stained as we popped the tiny orbs into our mouths.  My father didn’t share in our appreciation of this fruit and my husband is the same, so now when I bring home pomegranates I have the memory all to myself, except for tiny tidbits I am forced to share with our greedy schnauzers, Lucy and Baxter.

[Unnamed] Pomegranate Bench Runner
As we create our rugs, our hands busy with the wool and hook, a sort of deep calm comes over us where our thoughts are allowed to travel and memories are beckoned.  I don’t think of worries or bills while I hook; instead, my mind often moves to things that make me happy, such as my parents’ love, my home and marriage, and the warmth of the fire and hot tea I am sharing while I hook.  I think this mental “wandering” that takes place when we hook is what attracts us to this hand-art, more so than the mere desire to create something that will decorate our walls and floors.

What kinds of rug designs do you hook? Can you see bits and parts of yourself in your rugs? I bet if you’re hooking a rug with animals, you or someone you love has strong attachments to our natural world of flora and fauna, and if you’re hooking a homestead with fields and flowers, it invokes memories or desires for the comforts and safety of home.  I believe we are what we hook, and that is why once we begin rug hooking, it is a hand-art we naturally return to again and again.

Well, I’m headed back to my worktable to finish my hooked rug bench runner and put the finishing touches on my November giveaway that starts this weekend.  Since we’re revving up for the holidays here in the US, my November and December giveaways are going to be extra special and you won’t want to miss out. If you haven’t done so already, I hope you’ll join my American Pie Birthday Club so you are automatically entered to win.  In the meantime, drop me a comment and Happy Stitchin’.  xoxo--Melanie

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